A surge of three touchdowns in less than two minutes of game time gave the South team a lead it never relinquished, helping the South win its first Wyoming Shrine Bowl victory since 2012 in a 34-32 victory against the North on Saturday in Casper.
The South took control of the game in at the end of the third quarter, scoring two touchdowns in the span of four seconds. A 13-yard touchdown run by Cokeville’s Nate Barnes cut the North’s lead to 26-20.
On the North’s next offensive play, a shotgun snap went awry, and Cheyenne East’s Julian Vigil recovered the loose ball in the end zone. A successful 2-point conversion made the score 28-26 South; the North never regained the lead.
After an interception by Barnes, East’s Jake Rayl added a 17-yard touchdown catch less than two minutes later, at the 14:02 mark in the fourth, pushing the South’s lead to 34-26.
The North nearly tied the game in the final minute, though.
Thunder Basin’s Dyse Shepherd completed a 99-yard drive with a 26-yard touchdown catch, his third of the game, on a fourth-and-5 play with 49 seconds remaining. But the South defense snuffed out the North’s 2-point conversion attempt to keep the South’s lead at 34-32.
Carter Lobatos of Cheyenne Central recovered the North’s onside kick attempt to ice the game.
The North had control of the game early. Shepherd’s first two touchdowns, one a 36-yard catch and the other a 20-yard catch, on passes from Cody’s Caleb Prior gave the North a 14-0 lead. Rayl’s 26-yard touchdown catch with 16 seconds remaining in the first half made the halftime score 14-7, North.
Thunder Basin’s Jaxon Pikula scored on a 5-yard run early in the third quarter to boost the North lead to 20-7, but Buell answered with a 12-yard score to make it 20-14. Natrona’s Braxton Bundy notched an 8-yard touchdown run with 1:51 to go in the third quarter to extend the North margin to 26-14.
Then the South unleashed its three-touchdown bonanza to jump up 34-26.
Buell was named the offensive player of the game, while Cody’s Nic Talich was the defensive player of the game. Full statistics from the game were not immediately available.
The game acts as a fundraiser for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. The game typically raises between $20,000 and $30,000 annually for the hospital.
Last year’s game was not played due to COVID-19. The North had won the previous seven games.
The North leads the all-time series 25-19-3.
North: Dyse Shepherd 36 pass from Caleb Prior (Jesse Trotter kick), 8:45 1Q (7-0 North)
North: Shepherd 20 pass from Prior (Trotter kick), 9:21 2Q (14-0 North)
South: Jake Rayl 26 pass from Graedyn Buell (Brant Nelson kick), 0:16 2Q (14-7 North)
North: Jaxon Pikula 5 run (kick failed), 11:29 3Q (20-7 North)
South: Buell 12 run (Nelson kick), 9:44 3Q (20-14 North)
North: Braxton Bundy 8 run (run failed), 1:51 3Q (26-14 North)
South: Nate Barnes 13 run (kick failed), 0:50 3Q (26-20 North)
South: Julian Vigil fumble recovery in end zone (Buell run), 0:47 3Q (28-26 South)
South: Rayl 17 pass from Buell (kick failed), 14:02 4Q (34-26 South)
North: Shepherd 26 pass from Prior (run failed), 0:49 4Q (34-32 South)